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Neuroimage. 2005 Feb 15;24(4):1042-51. Epub 2004 Dec 19.

Neural correlates of semantic and behavioural deficits in frontotemporal dementia.

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Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ, UK.


Patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) can present with the clinical syndrome of semantic dementia due to a progressive loss of semantic knowledge or a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterised by aberrant social behaviours although frequently both co-exist. It has been assumed that the former is underpinned by damage to the temporal lobes and the latter, predominantly, by damage to the frontal lobes. Using the technique of voxel-based morphometry, we studied a group of FTD cases (n = 18) with a range of cognitive and neuropsychiatric features to correlate loss of semantic knowledge (as measured by the sum of two semantic tests) and aberrant behaviour (as measured by the neuropsychiatric inventory, NPI) with regional loss of grey matter volume. Semantic breakdown correlated with extensive loss of grey matter volume throughout the left anterior temporal lobe and less significantly with right temporal pole and subcallosal gyrus. Aberrant behaviour correlated with loss of grey matter volume in the dorso-mesial frontal lobe--paracingulate region, Brodmann areas 6/8/9--more so on the right. The frontal paracingulate correlation suggests that damage to this region may significantly contribute to the genesis of the behavioural syndrome seen in FTD.

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